Section 5-26-16

Investigation and examination authority.

In addition to any authority allowed under this chapter the supervisor shall have the authority to conduct investigations and examinations as follows:

(1) AUTHORITY TO ACCESS INFORMATION. For purposes of initial licensing, license renewal, license suspension, license conditioning, license revocation or termination, or general or specific inquiry or investigation to determine compliance with this chapter, the supervisor shall have the authority to access, receive, and use any books, accounts, records, files, documents, information, or evidence including but not limited to:

(a) Criminal, civil, and administrative history information, including nonconviction data; and

(b) Personal history and experience information including independent credit reports obtained from a consumer reporting agency described in Section 603(p) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act; and

(c) Any other documents, information, or evidence the supervisor deems relevant to the inquiry or investigation regardless of the location, possession, control, or custody of such documents, information, or evidence.

(2) INVESTIGATION, EXAMINATION, AND SUBPOENA AUTHORITY. For the purposes of investigating violations or complaints arising under this chapter, or for the purposes of examination, the supervisor may review, investigate, or examine any licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter, as often as necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The supervisor may direct, subpoena, or order the attendance of and examine under oath all persons whose testimony may be required about the loans or the business or subject matter of any such examination or investigation, and may direct, subpoena, or order such person to produce books, accounts, records, files, and any other documents the supervisor deems relevant to the inquiry.

(3) AVAILABILITY OF BOOKS AND RECORDS. Each licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter shall make available to the supervisor, upon request, the books and records relating to the operations of such licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter. The supervisor shall have access to such books and records and interview the officers, principals, mortgage loan originators, employees, independent contractors, agents, and customers of the licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter concerning their business.

(4) REPORTS AND OTHER INFORMATION AS DIRECTED. Each licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter shall make or compile reports or prepare other information as directed by the supervisor in order to carry out the purposes of this section including, but not limited to:

(a) Accounting compilations;

(b) Information lists and data concerning loan transactions in a format prescribed by the supervisor; or

(c) Such other information deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

(5) CONTROL ACCESS TO RECORDS. In making any examination or investigation authorized by this chapter, the supervisor may control access to any documents and records of the licensee or person under examination or investigation. The supervisor may take possession of the documents and records or place a person in exclusive charge of the documents and records in the place where they are usually kept. During the period of control, no individual or person shall remove or attempt to remove any of the documents and records except pursuant to a court order or with the consent of the supervisor. Unless the supervisor has reasonable grounds to believe the documents or records of the licensee have been, or are at risk of being altered or destroyed for purposes of concealing a violation of this chapter, the licensee or owner of the documents and records shall have access to the documents or records as necessary to conduct its ordinary business affairs.

(6) ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY. In order to carry out the purposes of this section, the supervisor may:

(a) Retain attorneys, accountants, or other professionals and specialists as examiners, auditors, or investigators to conduct or assist in the conduct of examinations or investigations;

(b) Enter into agreements or relationships with other government officials or regulatory associations in order to improve efficiencies and reduce regulatory burden by sharing resources, standardized or uniform methods or procedures, and documents, records, information, or evidence obtained under this section;

(c) Use, hire, contract, or employ public or privately available analytical systems, methods, or software to examine or investigate the licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter;

(d) Accept and rely on examination or investigation reports made by other government officials, within or without this state; or

(e) Accept audit reports made by an independent certified public accountant for the licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter in the course of that part of the examination covering the same general subject matter as the audit and may incorporate the audit report in the report of the examination, report of investigation, or other writing of the supervisor.

(7) EFFECT OF AUTHORITY. The authority of this section shall remain in effect, whether such a licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter acts or claims to act under any licensing or registration law of this state, or claims to act without such authority.

(8) WITHHOLD RECORDS. No licensee, individual, or person subject to investigation or examination under this section may knowingly withhold, abstract, remove, mutilate, destroy, or secrete any books, records, computer records, or other information.

(Act 2009-627, p. 1907, §16.)